By Kurt Dupont
Digital signage or dynamic signage is a process of displaying information or adverts through audiovisuals in public places. They are centrally controlled distribution systems that enable digital content to be played back through high contrast screens. Digital signage can be used to pass any information ranging from adverts, drama, documentary, flight, jingles, sports, weather forecasts, and lots more. They can be used to relay one category of information or a wide range of categories.
Digital signage is also known as narrowcasting or slivercasting. They can be programmed to display personalized content. The contents can be streamed through high-speed internet connections which are relatively inexpensive or streamed through playback devices for continuous display of content. Plasma or Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) are usually the types of screens used for digital signage. Digital signage can yield a good result because they target a particular niche or audience.
Digital signage is used in different places like shopping malls, schools, hotels, event centers, office buildings, banks, streets, bus stations terminals, and lots more. You can use a propriety network to update the information it displays, internet through remote connection or updated through the playback function attached to the screen. A wide range of industrial sector uses digital signage. However, the most prominent use is in the retail industry, where it is used to display eye-catching images of products. Digital signage is becoming very popular because they engage and interact better with viewers than other types of advert, such as static signage.
Professional or Consumer Signage Screen?
A digital signage display can refer to any screen used for digital signage purposes. It can be professional screens or consumer screens. A professional signage screen is specifically meant to serve commercial display purposes while a consumer signage screen is designed to serve private purposes. However, some organizations may opt to use consumer signage display screens. Professional and Commercial signage screens vary in size, sophistication, and functionalities. Let’s take a look at a few differences between Professional and Commercial Signage display screens.
Professional signage display can be wider and stretched, enabling them to offer better views to customers. A professional signage display screen maybe as wide as 163” to a 362”, while a consumer screen ranges between 30″ to 82″.
Professional Signage displays are slim and have a narrow bezel that is suitable to meet the demands of most restricted digital signage spaces and an excellent way to grab customer’s attention. Professional display signage comes with a sleek design and an even bezel that is more appealing to the public view. An even bezel is not just aesthetically pleasing but also allows you to place the display in portrait mode without it looking lopsided.
Portrait Format Professional
Digital signage displays are in portrait format, while consumer signage displays are not. The portrait view enables viewers to see more areas of the screen which can significantly increase productivity. And this portrait mode requires special attention regarding the hardware and cooling inside of the display. It is best not to use a consumer display in portrait mode.
Professional signage displays come with a more extended warranty of 3 years while consumer digital signage display comes with a warranty of just one or two years, depending on the country.
Professional signage displays are designed to be rugged and can display for 24 hours a day while consumer signage is designed to display for max 8 hours.
Professional signage display brightness can be up to 1000 nits while a consumer display is just 300 – 350 nits.
Although professional digital display signage is more expensive than consumer digital signage, professional signage offers better technological, clarity, and productivity generally.
Components of a Digital Signage
Digital Signage comes in a unit of different components. They come with a screen and some form of internet connection, playback function or remote control. Let’s take a look at the components of digital signage.
Digital signage is made up of screens such as LCD, projector monitor, and other types of screens. They also come with playback devices, cables, network components, mounts, power packs, sophisticated inbuilt speakers, etc.
The information that has to be displayed on digital signage must be created and loaded for display. Multimedia files like images, presentations, and videos are common. Most content is video but has the disadvantage of being expensive, large and completely static. Presentations can be great too, and are easily edited with a presentation editor like Microsoft PowerPoint.
Without the accompanying software, there would be nothing to display in digital signage. They come with content management software’s, video players, audio players, and configuration files and applications. We can definitely recommend iPoint and SignageTube.
Digital Signage Software
A digital signage system cannot function without the software. There are thousands of digital signage software vendors today. Most of the software is similar. However, there could be minor differences in them. You have to understand the differences and identify your needs in other to make the right selection. Digital signage software is divided into 3 categories which are content development or creation software, device management software, content distribution/management software. Let’s take a look at them.
Content distribution software (CMS)
CMS applications allow users and operators to organize, upload, delete, and categorize content on digital signage through the user interface. The media would then be programmed with some specific rules to display in a media player or set of media players. Content management software may be installed on the digital signage or installed on third party systems which would be distributed to the digital signage screen through remote connection.
Media Player Software
These are applications that can play videos and audios. Digital signage software vendors have to ensure their media players are compatible with different kinds of screens and compatible with different file formats such as audio and video formats such as mp4, mp3, web pages, and others. They should also be responsive to any screen used for digital signage.
Digital signage device management software
Some organizations or business may want to deploy various digital signage’s across multiple locations. Device management software can seamlessly enable you to manage the network of the signage systems, which can save you time and money. Sophisticated device management solutions can collect information from the digital signage devices and give you reports, create an alert, check device status, capture screenshots, and lots more.
Connectivity solutions Talk about this
Digital signage systems can operate through a remote connection, high-speed internet, or playback devices. Digital signage systems that operate through the internet come with a WiFi or hardline and advanced technology for maximum connectivity. They come with versatile connectivity options that can boost engagements and relay timely information. Some of the connectivity devices they come with are a built-in tuner, USB devices, and embedded WI-FI.
Why Digital Signage?
More organizations are beginning to embrace digital signage because of the many benefits they offer. They are more appealing and easier to manage than static signage. Shopping habits have changed because consumers are more technologically inclined these days. People prefer videos to newspapers, handbills and other forms of advertisement. With digital signage, a message can be summarized. As they say, a picture is worth more than a thousand words. Digital signage can also be used to target particular demography or niche and communicate effectively, which can significantly increase sales.
Let’s look at a few more advantages of using Digital Signage:
- They produce attention-grabbing displays
- They are cost-effective and dynamic
- Easy to manage as they can be programmed to display contents for weeks and even months
- They boost impulse buying
- They are loud and clear
- You can incorporate runtime ads in them
- They are interactive
- Saves cost
- They might be expensive to do the initial installation, but they offer you better value for money and saves cost in the long run
Industries Using Digital Signage
A wide range of industry uses digital signage. The most prominent sector that uses digital signage is the retail sector, where they use it to display captivating images and video that can boost impulse buying. However, more and more organizations are beginning to harness the power of digital signages. They offer interactivity, increase product engagement, visualization, and some offer state of the art 3D view.
Here is a list of the most popular industrial sectors using digital signage:
- Education etc
Trends in Digital Signage
Digital signage is gradually transiting from simply displaying videos and audios. Manufacturers are beginning to incorporate artificial intelligence and deep learning into Digital signage systems to extend their functionalities. New hardware and software are being developed to make these devices more interactive. AI can gather more information from viewers which can be used to produce tailored content. AI is also enabling interactivity and personalization. Nowadays, digital signage is built in a way that allows customers to browse for products and also use them to order for products which can be delivered to their homes and offices. AI would also be used to predict customers’ behaviors and provide personalized content soon. As we know, personalized content works well; it ensures the interaction between the customer and the business will be more memorable.
Digital Signage Market Growth
More and more organizations are beginning to harness the power of digital signage. It is estimated that by 2025, the market size would USD 31.71 billion. This is a result of an increase in demand for the technology which is predominantly clustered by the retail sector, healthcare, hotel, transportation, education, banks, and restaurants.
Digital signages are used to display a variety of information such as weather, adverts, news, flights, calendar, sports, entertainment, and lots more. They offer captivating, interactive, and appealing content to viewers. They can be used to target a particular niche which can significantly improve sales and productively. Also, they are a centrally-controlled distribution platform that can make use of high-speed internet, remote control, or playback systems to display appealing content. They use technologies such as LED, LCD, and projections to display contents such as images, videos, web content, and lots more for outdoor advertisement or information relaying. While deploying digital signage, it is important to know the differences between a Professional digital signage display and a Consumer signage display. Professional signage displays are better suited for outdoor advertising as they are bigger, clearer comes with an even bezel, longer warranty and is designed to display information 24 hours a day.
Kurt Dupont is a solution provider who would go out of his way just to ensure he brings out the best when it comes to issues that has to deal with data-driven presentations, data visualization, and digital signage software.
He started by working at airports worldwide to set up airport databases and flight information screens. This evolved to become the basis for PresentationPoint.
The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company.
See Also: Visual Impact Productions